Plein Air Cooking

Walls can’t contain these two home chefs who fully utilize 
their kitchen

Site Staff Home & Design, Real Estate 0 Comments


Outdoor cooking will never require a propane stove for Connie and Mel Abert, who relocated to Palm Springs from Manhattan Beach several years ago. Before they moved, they spent two years searching for a newly built contemporary home that wowed them with something extraordinary.

“What really sold us was the disappearing wall in the kitchen,” says Connie of their four-bedroom find near Ruth Hardy Park. Fleetwood sliding glass doors enable them to seamlessly let the outdoors in without a ridge underfoot. “I call it the ‘a-ha moment,’ when the sun goes behind the mountains and we open everything up,” she says.

Brazilian granite counters, a Wolf wine cooler and range, a double-drawer Fisher & Paykel dishwasher, and the delicate control on the KWC Ono Collection faucet are their other favorite features.

Both Connie and Mel love to cook and entertain, so an attractive and intuitive cook space is more than just for show. “The open kitchen is a great party room in and of itself, especially with the adjacent bar,” says Mel. From a Valentine’s Day outdoor dinner party for 36 to intimate meals for special occasions, one ritual prevails: Everyone participates in a course. Connie tackles the prep work in advance, then guests help plate and serve, which she feels makes for a “casual, fun evening.”

Connie says the tradition stemmed from too many parties where guests lamented she was just a blur in and out of the kitchen and unable to visit. “We tried catered dinners with servers, but it was a little too pretentious for us,” she explains. “Now everyone fights over whose turn it is. Even guests who don’t cook love being a part of it.”

“What really sold us was the disappearing wall in the kitchen,” says Connie Abert.

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